Disclaimer: I do not own FMA or anything related to it expect this plot
A/N: This story takes place shortly after the end of Brotherhood. 'Hope you enjoy!
The battle was fought, the enemy defeated. What was left now to do was to rebuild... and there was much to rebuild. Construction was not just going to be on physical damages dealt by Father, but within the very core of what made Amestris a country. Those loyal to their country, loyal to the people and the real love for peace and honor, would rebuild the country in the image it had in the past. This time, it would not be a false image, it would be true and pure. Those who fought valiantly to overthrow corruption and evil would see to that.
Edward Elric heaved a sigh of relief. Watching soldiers help each other off the field. His arm burned with pain but he ignored it. He had several bruises, injured bones, and a splitting headache, but he ignored it. What mattered to him the most right now, was helping his little brother get medical attention. "Come on, Al, ready?" he asked, leaning down to help his brother off the ground.
"I-I think so, brother..." Al said, his voice harsh from years without use. It hurt him a lot but to him, just the fact that he could feel the scratchiness, feel the dryness, to just feel... it was wonderful. Al's expression was a curious mix of pain and bliss as he struggled to use his nearly non-existing muscles to lift himself up and lean on his elder brother for balance and support.
"Do you want me to carry you?" Al could hear the fatigue in his brother's voice and felt a pang of guilt at having to rely on the strength that Ed seemed to be struggling to hold for him. He would not abuse his brother's kindness, even though he knew Ed would yell at him for thinking this way.
"No, I don't want to wear you out any more than you are, besides, I need to get used to moving again, right?" Al told him. Ed rolled his eyes and scoffed at the explanation.
"I'm not tired enough that I can't help you! Besides, you don't weigh anything," he said gruffly, though Al could hear the worry in his voice.
Al smiled at this. "I'm fine, really, I want to move on my own as much as I can," he said.
"Okay Al, but you better tell me if it hurts too much, okay?" Ed warned him.
"Sure thing, brother," Al smiled wider. The brothers made their way out of the battlefield, Ed carefully steering his younger brother out of the way of broken and rough terrain.
"There's an ambulance waiting this way, Sir," one soldier said as he walked up to the brothers.
"Thanks," Ed nodded and they continued on. Once near the ambulance, the medical team wasted no time in aiding them. Ed was much too tried to protest, so he reluctantly let them check him over and taken his brother off his hands, placing him on a stretcher and into the truck. Ed followed suit, unwilling to leave Al's side. They rode in silence, everyone lost in their own thoughts. Al's mind drifted from one thing to the next, his recovered body, the end of their journey, the future, all the sensations he had been without for so long competing for his attention. Ed thought of similar things, his eyes trained on his now flesh hand, clenching and relaxing it. Ed smiled when he thought of how disappointed and at the same time happy Winry would be. Winry. She was very much in Ed's thoughts as well.
When they arrived at the hospital, they were taken to separate rooms. While Ed was patched up, Al was given a thorough exam and hooked up to an IV unit. "Your brother is suffering a severe case of muscle atrophy and will take some time to recuperate. I'm surprised he's even able to move at all," a doctor told Ed when he went to check on his brother.
"Is there anything you can do?" Ed's worry for his brother gripped at his heart and again he felt fierce remorse for making Al go through this.
"If we put him on a rehabilitation schedule, he could be better much sooner. If you do not do anything for your brother now, he may lose the ability to move on his own," the doctor warned him.
Ed's eyes widened and he gaped in horror. "I'll do whatever it takes! I don't care how much it'll cost, just fix my little brother!" Ed yelled in panic.
"Relax, Mr. Elric, your brother will be fine in no time. I just so happen to have the form for the rehabilitation program right here," the doctor pulled out a sheet of paper from the folder he was holding. "The price is listed at the bottom," he explained. Ed didn't even bother looking at the price, he didn't care, he would do anything to took to make it up to Al. "Very good, we'll need to run a few more tests on him to make sure how far his malnourishment and muscle atrophy has gone and to see what treatments he needs. He'll have to stay in one of the wards for some time," the doctor told him, showing Ed where to sign. After all was said and done, Ed slumped in the seat near Al's bed and smiled tiredly at his brother's sleeping form. He leaned back in his chair and felt his eyes shut without prompt. In no time, he joined Al in dreamland.
A full five months had gone by. Al stared at his hand for a moment, before clenching it, a smirk appearing on his lips. He was almost there, he was almost at peak physical condition. "Are you ready for this, Al?" he heard his brother ask. Al looked up, seeing his brother finish his stretches. This was the first time since he got his body back that they would spar. Of course, Pinako and Winry were there, watching from the porch, in case anything should happen. Pinako had the first-aid kit and Winry had her tool chest.
"You bet!" Al said taking a deep breath and getting into position. He would have to be careful now. Ever since he and his brother returned home, Winry had been working nonstop to build Ed the perfect automail leg... probably to compensate with the fact that he no longer had an automail arm. It was finally complete and he would be testing it out in this fight. Which meant he had to be extra cautious. Not only was Ed able to jump higher now, but he was a lot faster. However...
His brother underestimated him.
Ed might have been faster and most likely still stronger, but Al was still much more skilled at this than he was. Al felt his muscles flex in a pleasantly painful way as he blocked his brother's kick. It was funny how every sensation, even painful ones, still held a bit of pleasantness to it. "GAH!" Ed cried as Al moved quickly to defeat him. It was such a relief that he didn't feel winded, like he feared he would. "But how! I'm so much faster!" Ed complained.
"Just because you're faster and stronger, doesn't mean I can't still kick your butt," Al smiled cheekily.
"Ohhh! Why you! C'mere! I'll show you who'll kick who's ass!" Ed yelled, losing his temper. Winry and Pinako smiled from their spot, watching the boys spar and relieved that Al seemed to have recovered as much as he did. They watched as Al once again threw down his brother. While Al still seemed slimmer than his brother, you could easily tell the young man was working hard to improve his body and it showed in the way he moved. Unlike Ed who was rough and almost reckless, Al was graceful and fluid in his movements.
"Just wait until I build my strength and speed even more," Al smiled happily, once again clenching his fist and enjoying the feeling of his tightening muscles. He should feel guilty for embarrassing his brother, especially in front of Winry and Granny, but he was entitled to feel a little selfish now and then, right?
Ed sighed, defeated, and rested on the ground with his arms over his bent knees. "I bet you won't even need to use Alchemy, with the skills you've got at fighting..." he agreed.
"R-Really? They're not that great..." Al disagreed modestly.
"Pfft, I bet you could take on teacher," Ed retorted. There was a pause and they both cringed and shook their heads. "Okay, m-maybe you'd still need a lot more training for that..."
"Y-Yeah, d-definitely..." Al agreed, picturing his teaching ripping him to shreds without effort.
"Hey you two! Come inside for some lunch!" Pinako said, turning from her spot on the porch and walking inside.
"YEAH!" The boys said in unison, running over to the house.
Winry watched them, a smile on her lips and her heart clenching with joy. She could finally see Al's happy face again, after so long... after five months, it still didn't get old. And Ed... oh and Ed, he was smiling too, much more than she was used to seeing from him lately. He smiled to her more now too. At this, she felt a blush touch her cheeks and she shook her head, trying to clear it. She was so happy to have them back, it almost hurt. Deep down, though, she knew their adventures weren't over. What now? How long would they stay this time? Until Al was completely healed? It seemed she'd just have to sit and wait again...
End A/N: Well, I decided I'd give a crack at FMA fanfiction... I hope I did okay! This was my first try! Oh and I'm sorry about the jump in time... I thought writing about recovering in the hospital and pining over Winry (Al and Ed respectively lawlz) would be kinda boring. If enough people like this, I might continue it... for now, it's a finished product. As you can see, there was a hint of EdWin... sorry I didn't put any AlMei, it didn't seem to fit anywhere. Review and let me know what you thought!